You’re walking down the skin care aisle at your local pharmacy, wondering whether you should purchase hydrocortisone for your nagging angular cheilitis condition. You see the standard 1% hydrocortisone cream and although it is affordable, you’re still unsure whether it will exert any beneficial effects on your perleche. While we will give you the ‘green light’ to make the purchase, don’t expect this cream to cure the cracked corners of your mouth.
What is Hydrocortisone?
A mild topical steroid, also referred to as a corticosteroid, hydrocortisone is an anti-inflammatory agent. Combined with moisturizing ingredients, or emollients, this cream should reduce some swelling, redness, and accompanying itching. As it is a steroid, albeit a mild one, hydrocortisone is not suitable for children under the age of 10 or pregnant women unless a physician prescribes it.
Low-dose concentrations of hydrocortisone, .5% or 1%, are readily available over the counter. Higher topical percentage products, such as 2.5% hydrocortisone cream, are available by prescription in the U.S.
What Effects Will Hydrocortisone Have on My Perleche?
Once again, no definitive answer can be provided as individual response will vary. It’s probable that the cream will reduce your angular cheilitis symptoms as some inflammation and redness should subside. However, some folks report that hydrocortisone, even higher prescription percentage creams, had no impact on their cheilitis. Expectations should be reasonable and a hydrocortisone cure for cheilitis is not within the realm of possibility.
The cream will have no effect on the likely cause of your perleche as it’s neither antibacterial or antifungal. It will be unable to kill the colony of microbes but merely help deal with your skin’s inflammatory response. But the fact that hydrocrisone cream may very well make the cheilitis less noticeable prompts us to encourage its purchase.
How to Use Hydrocortisone Cream
After thoroughly washing the area with a mild cleanser, apply a very small amount of the cream. Rub gently to ensure absorption and leave the area alone. Air-drying is preferable to covering the area with a band aid. You should repeat this application procedure two to three times a day.
Another word of warning: You should not use hydrocortisone for more than 7 consecutive days unless your physical advises otherwise. Watch for any side effects and immediately stop using the product should such side effects materialize. You can find out about the potential steriod-related side effects by reading the product insert. One primary concern is that hydrocortisone can thin the skin with long-term use but this is very unlikely to happen to you as your usage of the cream will be short-term.
This treatment may be listed in the ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ category. Some folks online are even writing that hydrocortisone got rid of their cheilitis. It’s likely, however, that the cream dramatically reduced the symptoms, making the cheilitis less noticeable; the underlying cause, threating bacteria or fungi, still exists and may rear its ugly head again at any time.
Nevertheless, we recommend using hydrocortisone cream for angular cheilitis because it may very well improve the way the cracked corners of your lips look. That’s something to smile about!